As the largest provider of skilled nursing care in Knoxville, Hillcrest Healthcare cares for hundreds of patients across three communities. Each day, a team of 10 associates works behind the scenes to keep up with the enormous amount of laundry produced at the three locations.
The laundry operation is led by laundry director Teri Deisher. She joined the Hillcrest Healthcare team in December 2021, moving to healthcare from a career in hotel and hospitality management. She provides a peek at all that she and her team accomplish each day.
Day in the life
Hillcrest Healthcare has one commercial laundry operation at the Beverly Park Place campus that manages all laundry besides personal clothing from the three communities. Personal items are laundered onsite at each community.
The team includes a driver who picks up laundry from West Hills and Island Home and delivers it for processing. Work starts early! Teri comes in between 3:30-4 a.m., and the team starts sorting and processing carts and carts of laundry.
“We sort it, then wash, dry and fold, then it’s all loaded on racks – which are basically large cabinets on wheels – and then the clean linen is taken to the upper floors here at Beverly Park Place and delivered out to the other two communities,” Teri shares.
The team sends an average of six racks daily to Island Home and eight to West Hills. In addition to bed sheets, blankets, towels and washcloths, the team also launders items from the kitchens, rehab facilities and resident dining rooms.
It’s all washed in one of two oversized washers or two commercial washers and dried in one of five commercial dryers.
The team processes about 15,000 pounds of laundry each week. “We processed 60,000 pounds in February alone,” Teri said.
Teri visits the other communities to check on their linen stores to make sure they have enough stock on hand and places orders for replacement items each month. Systems, such as utilizing the exact items across communities, make it easier for her to replace stained and worn linen.
It starts with a great team
The folks on the laundry team make the days better. “The best part of my job is the team. This is the best staff I’ve ever worked with. They all care so much and take pride in their work,” Teri shares. With long tenured team members, it also feels like a family environment. The last person in Teri’s position retired after 43 years of service.
We send a great big Hillcrest welcome to Teri and kudos to the entire laundry services team! If you or a loved one is seeking extended care in a compassionate setting, please visit our website at hillcresthc.com.